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Blog, Faith, Lifestyle, Marriage

3 Lessons in Celebration of 3 Years with J

malia Lynn 3 year anniversary

first look malia Lynn

first look before ceremony

first look malia Lynn

first look malia lynn

3 year anniversary malia Lynn

Coming up this month, on June 13, is our third wedding anniversary. Last year, I celebrated on the blog by sharing a very personal post (linked here) of our dating history, talking about why it’s worth it to wait. For this year’s anniversary, I wanted to get personal again by sharing 3 lessons of communication that have made our relationship stronger (what better time than when people expect you to be extra sappy, and actually tolerate it? It’s all about that strategy my friends. Ha!).

Granted, at 3 years, we are hardly experts – but honestly, I don’t think anyone ever is, regardless of the amount of time they’ve been together. Either way, the formula is the same: The daily (and sometimes hourly) choice to love the other person and to not only extend grace but to seek grace from them when you aren’t necessarily being your most lovable self. 

Throughout the last three years, J and I have been through much more than either of us expected on this bright and wonderful day. Most of these experiences have been more than great, like bringing home Toby, trips together, and seeing growth in the Lord within one another. Others have unfortunately been a bit more difficult – the strain caused by law school was a very heavy burden on our household in a number of ways; interference from toxic relationships (everyone has at least one of these people in life, right?! I will happily trade ours for your crazy uncle 😉 ); and a few deaths of loved ones have all weighed pretty heavily on our little family, sometimes all at once. I’m not sharing these parts of the less than joyful side of our marriage in the hopes of getting sympathy, as it isn’t needed. As hard as these moments – sometimes over the span of many months – have been, they’ve also solidified us as a couple much more than any “happy” season ever could.

I thought I trusted Justin with my life on the day we got married, but looking back, I know I was still holding onto the idea of controlling what my life would ideally be like with him in it. Whereas today, I wholeheartedly trust him with my entire person; past, present, future, ugly, pretty, smart, dumb, whole, and broken. He is such a gift that I still wonder why God chose me to be his wife. That doesn’t mean that we always communicate perfectly with one another or that we have a “perfect” marriage. We still and will have days when we both want to bite each other’s heads off. There’s just no such thing as a perfect marriage when there’s a pairing of two imperfect people. But y’all, grace abounds from this man. Throughout these last three years, he has and continues to teach me so much about forgiveness, kindness, and joy.  

As we celebrate three years married and embark on our fourth year, I am definitely going to be focusing on these 3 lessons of communication that we have learned and worked on together. I love these, because they can be used in literally any relationship, at any stage:

1. Be Intentional

Spending time together sometimes needs to planned, and when it is, be present. Put the phones away and focus on the other person. Being intentional also applies to the words you speak. You have the ability to choose what you say to someone, so choose wisely. The freedom to be vulnerable in relationships is so important, and it’s much more difficult to repair trust than it is to destroy it through thoughtless words or actions.

2. Be Honest

You know what happens when you bottle things up for too long? You explode. Not only that, but you aren’t giving the other person a chance to fix it or even know what is bothering you. (Tim Keller discusses this very concept much more eloquently in The Meaning of Marriage – which I highly recommend!) You may think you’re being the bigger person by not saying anything, but usually you’re just setting yourself up for an unnecessary meltdown. When you choose to share what’s going on, be intentional with what you say and how you say it. You’re on the same team. This also means being honest with your own heart and mind. Did you just catch yourself using a not-so-nice tone? Don’t wait for the other person to say something about it for you to own it and apologize. Be accountable and honest with you. 

3. Be Quiet

I know this is an ironic one to follow the “Be Honest” tip, but just roll with it. Sometimes when venting, the other person doesn’t want advice. It can be hard to resist the urge to jump in and start explaining all the ways they can fix the issue. But, as much as we want to help our spouses and loved ones, sometimes what they need more in that moment is just for someone to listen. If you really think you know the answer to what is causing their angst, then when they are finished, ask if they want you to speak into it. Most of the time, that answer will probably be yes, but if it isn’t, be willing and ready to respect their wishes.

 

Thank you for celebrating with us by taking the time to read this post. We love and appreciate all of you more than you know! If you are interested in reading more about what I’ve learned from Lesson #2, I’ve included the links to the original book as well as its study guide companion below:

 

 

xoxo, M

 

 

 

 

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Blog, Lifestyle, Travel, Updates

Travel Outfit Essentials + Life Update!

travel outfit essentials

travel outfit essentials

longchamp travel bag

carry on travel bags

longchamp travel bag

travel bags

Pink Carry-on // Leggings // Black Tennis Shoes // LA Cap // Black Zip-up Bag (Expandable!) // Favorite Cardigan // Top

Oh my gosh, y’all, it’s been a minute.

Seriously a hot minute full of these past crazy two 1/2 months of bar prep isolation, but I am finally free (for now) and so hyped to get back into the real world & back in touch with all of you!

For this two-day exam extravaganza, I used my favorite go-to travel essentials = this expandable nylon bag and my pink rolling carry-on. The black longchamp is a bit of an investment, but I cannot recommend it more! I’ve had the same one now for over 5 years – it’s been with me to over 5 countries, and everywhere else in between, yet still looks brand new! If you’re looking for a new travel bag, I definitely recommend checking this one out – as it’s been a lifesaver for when I’ve needed more space to bring back souvenirs, and for when I just don’t repack everything as tightly/well I did before leaving on the trip :).

After finishing up the Bar Exam, I met my sweet friends, Emily & Joy, for dinner & spent the night in Chapel Hill 🙌🏻 (For those of you who are new to the blog, UNC is where I went to undergrad, so any chance I have to stay overnight I happily take). Y’all – these two. There are no words for how much they have blessed my life with their friendship. Through all the good, bad, and beyond ugly, they’ve both been such great sources of steady support, encouragement, and motivation to do better // be better. I am so grateful to even just know them – and 100% of the time am truly intimidated by how crazy smart they are – it’s scary (in a good way).

As it always does, the time with them flew, and now I find myself already back at home with at least five weeks to kill before results come back. It’s a little surreal to say the least. Ideally, I am praying to be done with this part of the “become a state-approved lawyer” process, but it really just depends on some many different elements that are totally out of my hands. Although the statement can sometimes be seen as a cliche, I truly believe that God has a plan (Jeremiah 29:11 !) so, whatever the outcome, His plan is still good. Now, that doesn’t make the possibility of having to retake this exam any less depressing or disappointing, but it does allow me to have peace in knowing that if for some reason I do need to retake it, it’s for a purpose that I know is good and will choose to trust.

ANYWAY, transitioning topics – there’s a TON of new content // changes I’ve been dying to complete, launch, & share with y’all. Not the least of which includes a potential branding overhaul for BBB —> Sharing more on that in the coming weeks (I want y’all to vote on this!). First up though, is (of course) a new DIY project!! Later this week I’ll be sharing an easy TV tray overhaul tutorial <3 Oh – and for those of you who have asked//are interested – I will be sharing a “What/How I Packed for the Bar” post soon as well! If you want tips on staying motivated – check out this post here!

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xoxo, M

 

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Adulting, Blog, Fitness, Lifestyle

5 Tips to Make (and Keep!) Your New Year’s Resolutions

5 tips new years resolutions

There’s always more than one reason why a new year’s resolution may fail, and it may not even be the result of what you would think or expect. If you’re determined to keep yours this new year, but feeling a little worried as to whether or not you’ll actually be able to, begin using the five easy tips below to transform your motivation & help you meet your new year’s goals! 

1. Start Now

When it comes to resolutions, there is seriously no better time than the present to get started on what you want to change. Don’t wait until January 1st, or 5th, or 16th to get started on what you would like to see different this next year. If your resolution is one that quite literally cannot begin until the start of the new year, begin making preparations for it now. If your goal is improved fitness: Clean out your fridge, make your lists, create an organized corner with your go-to equipment and gear, and see #4 to get an accountability partner lined up – whatever you need to do to ensure that when you do start, you are equipped and ready to do so successfully.

quatrefoil bins fitness resolution

new year's fitness resolutions

2. Frame Your Resolutions with Attainable Goals

It’s great to have a longterm/ideal goal, but without attainable goals incorporated in that process, it’s often just too easy to give up and quit the whole thing. One way to avoid that is by changing how you frame what your ultimate goal actually is. For instance, if your goal is to “lose X weight,” reframe that to be “live a healthier lifestyle.” This automatically allows for a number of smaller goals that are so much easier to attain, like: (1) Exercise for 30 minutes a day; (2) Drink X amount of water; or even (3) Get into a better sleep schedule by going to bed by 10pm every night. Personally, if I have a fitness goal, I love to stick numbered post-it notes on a mirror. For each day I follow through with the plan, I get to remove one post-it. This is a visual reminder of the changes I’m making, which helps so much when the physical changes haven’t started to show yet. Plus, it’s a much healthier mindset since it allows you to be proud of your progress instead of so focused on the end result that you feel overwhelmed and disappointed when the number isn’t yet reaching what you want.

post-it note fitness help motivation

3. Create Rewards for Yourself

This tip pairs with #2 to support your motivation to keep your resolutions. Continuing with the example used in #2: Did you drink X number of water consistently 5 of 7 days this week? Great! Go get your nails done to celebrate, pick up some flowers from your local grocery store (my favorite reward!), or put on that movie you love to watch but haven’t seen in a while. Incorporate these rewards into your calendar so you know exactly when, and exactly what you have to look forward to when you meet certain goals.

new years resolutions rewards

4. Get an Accountability Partner ASAP

Whatever your resolutions for the new year may be, it can never hurt to have someone in your corner cheering you on throughout the process – reminding you why you started, especially when you lose motivation and feel like throwing in the towel. This person can be anyone from your spouse (for me, J is a great source of steady accountability), co-worker, or close friend. Whoever he or she may be, make sure you clearly communicate your personal goals, include how you are planning on reaching them, and what exactly you want that person to do/tell you when you are doing well, and when you aren’t doing so great. Everyone communicates differently, so what may feel supportive to them may not be as helpful for you – so it may be best to go over this at the start rather than after hurt feelings or miscommunications have occurred. 

5 tips to make and keep your new year's resolutions

5. Write out Daily Reminders

Never forget that you are in control of whether or not you meet these goals. If you’re feeling anxious or overwhelmed, write out what is in your control, and what is not. For everything that is in your control, write a single sentence of how you know you can and will handle it. For everything that is not, draw a single line through to remind yourself that your focus needs to be on what you can control rather than what you cannot. Then, at the bottom of the page, write 3 things that you are proud of or that bring you joy. It’s okay if these positive reminders repeat from the day before – what matters most is that you choose to believe and apply them.

get it girl

Whether it’s fitness or something else, any resolution is going to take time to become a consistent part of your life, so go after it and enjoy the process. This time next year, you’ll be so glad you did.

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xoxo, M

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Blog, Fashion, Gift Guides, Lifestyle, Seasonal Decor

Girl Boss Gift Guide

gift guide

Happy Holiday season, y’all! If you have a favorite girl boss in your life, are just in the mood to treat yourself, I put together this gift guide to hopefully make the search a bit easier! Scroll down for the following categories: Comfort; Themed Decor; Office/Tech; Fashion; Coffee/Travel; Extra Luxe; and more!

Comfort

Themed Decor

Office || Tech  

Fashion

Coffee || Travel

Extra Luxe 

Gift Cards

IF all else fails, and you still aren’t sure she will totally love any of the ideas above – gift cards are always a great option. A lot of people balk at giving these during the holidays over concerns that they may seem impersonal, but if they’re gifted to her favorite store, or even Amazon with a sweet note, you’ll know that you’ve made her day. Amazon is one of my personal favorites for gift cards, as well as Nordstrom, and HomeGoods – which you can use at World Market/TJ Maxx/Marshalls as well so it’s like 4-in-1! For more ideas, check out this home office post or these Boss Babe designs! Happy shopping!

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